Fetus Tax Credit Bill Sparks Debate

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

A new bill that would grant a tax break to expectant mothers is off the legislature's docket for next week.

GONGWER is reporting one of the representatives who sponsored the bill pulled it from the agenda because several members said they weren't ready to vote.

Bills 5684 and 5685 sparked quite the debate after Tuesday's House Tax Policy Committee Hearing.

"Tax relief for families who are growing, expanding, especially at a critical stage when that baby is developing? This is important," Research and Policy Director of Michigan Family Forum Dan Jarvis said. "We want those babies to be healthy. This is a great opportunity to help make sure those babies are off to a great start."

The bills would save pregnant women who can prove they're 12 weeks along about $170 a year, by defining the fetus as a dependent - an unprecedented move.

"It could help to pay for prenatal care or other health insurance costs or just help them prepare in way of supplies, cribs, diapers, formula, that type of thing," Jarvis said.

But it will also cost the state an estimated $5 million to $10 million in tax revenue annually. Critics point out that the state just eliminated a $600 deduction for families with children.

"What this says to parents across Michigan is that your children only count when in utero, but not when they're here," Progress Michigan Communications Director Jessica Tramontana said. "And it's really up to legislators to tell them, 'Listen, your children count, we are going to do whatever we can to help you.' I don't think financial aid should stop at birth, and that's essentially what this legislation does."

Opponents also say this bill is an attempt to define personhood and limit abortions, a move some feel Michigan shouldn't be making right now.

"In the wake of 'Vagina Gate,' I think Michigan was made a laughing stock across the country, and I really don't think we need to do that again," Tramontana said. "I think legislators should be focusing on creating jobs, not on something as silly as this."

Even though it's off the agenda next week, supporters have hope.

"At the very least, we'll be back next session, I'm sure," Jarvis said.

If it doesn't move forward this year, that's the only option. The bill has to be rewritten and resubmitted for the next session.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mariah Location: Bath on Dec 1, 2012 at 04:17 AM
    Bills like this are the result of right wing anti-feminist extremists who won't rest until they've subjugated us all from conception to death. I, for one, refuse to be bamboozled by these neo-tyrannical clowns. Their persistence is admirable, but their vision for the future of Michigan is terrifyingly absurd.
  • by Jim on Nov 30, 2012 at 07:01 AM
    A fetus is a very young child. Killing a baby is killing a baby. Post-birth abortion is now being talked about. Where will the abortion madness end?
  • by jack Location: Location on Nov 30, 2012 at 06:26 AM
    Anon is totally right...this is a ploy to try and get a fetus classified as a person. This is just the first step. Further, it is ridiculous to give someone a tax break because they have opted to have a child. I had no part in that decision; why should I have any part in paying for it?
  • by Name Location: Location on Nov 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM
    this is terrible! So if you have living kids, they don't count for anything, but if you get invitro and are expecting 6 or 8 you hit a bonanza!. I want to know if the person who thought of this bill, had their head examined? Were they born this way, or did a building fall on them. You don't get to skip around Federal law by comming up with something this assinine!
  • by Me Location: East Lansing on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM
    Wait a minute! There isn't a life in there yet! How dare they. You can't get a tax break for empty space in a woman's belly. Someone should rethink this quick before they go and discover that there is an actual functioning baby in there!
  • by Josh on Nov 27, 2012 at 07:15 AM
    New Webster's Dictionary definition for 'political pandering': House Bills 5684 and 5685.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 27, 2012 at 02:03 AM
    Another way to encourage families to stay in michigan. They should limit the tax rebate to those who have worked. That way, you do not have the unwed mother who is on WIC, foodstamps, section 8 housing and has their working bf who is staying with them get all of the benefits. The deduction should be those middle class people who actually pay income tax.
  • by Courtney Location: Location on Nov 26, 2012 at 10:26 AM
    @Anon How is this controlling women?? Are they forced to admit they are pregnant and forced to put it on their deductions?? The time for an abortion is before 12 weeks, this is for after 12 weeks. It is no longer during the "abortion trimester." If the mother wants an abortion, then don't claim the tax deduction. No control there, just personal choice.
  • by Elaine Location: Location on Nov 26, 2012 at 09:26 AM
    Anon, you are right. I couldn't have said it better.
  • by Jan Location: Neuville on Nov 25, 2012 at 01:38 PM
    With an over stuffed planet, great tax breaks should be given to those who refuse to bring more unwanted and financially unsupportable children into the world. Save your sympathies for the slaughter you support with your 8.2 million per day in tax dollars. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20466027
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